TheDC Morning: TSA gropes the wrong diplomat

Mike Riggs Contributor
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Obama must convince liberal rich people that it is OK for them to keep their money — We’re gonna need a bigger shoe: Carbon footprint of Cancun climate conference significantly larger than last year — WaPo finds GAO flat-out lied in for-profit report — Indian ambassador groped by TSA for second time in three months — Cruel irony: This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner earned it, but can’t attend — Earmarks may be dead in the House, but phone-marks are alive and well
1.) Deep Democratic pockets may dry up after tax-cut deal — “President Obama’s advisors are confident that liberals dismayed by his agreement to extend tax breaks for the wealthy will forgive him by the time the 2012 election kicks into gear,” reports the LA Times. But will less forgetful and more moneyed liberals be as starry-eyed? The Times found that “some stalwart party donors are vowing to withhold funds because of their anger over the tax-cut deal.” Hedge fund manager Art Lipson, for instance, told the paper, “I do not plan to support Obama and his reelection effort,” because Obama is not willing to steal more of Lipson’s money. The Times counters its own thesis by pointing out that the DNC raised some big bucks “despite anger in the liberal wing about the lack of a public option in healthcare reform and the slow pace of repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military.” New York Magazine’s John Heileman explained best what Obama must do to keep the money rolling in: “If he is going to climb up on top of Casa Blanca and urinate all over congressional Democrats, he will need to learn the trick that Bill Clinton mastered: doing it with such a big bright smile that they mistake his piss for Champagne.”
2.) Cancun climate conference run by hypocritical clowns — “In the middle of all the global-warming demagoguery and calls for developed nations to shell out $100 billion per year by 2020 in climate reparations to help less-developed countries cope with the unfair burden of climate change, one thing has very obviously not changed,” notes The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey–“the hypocrisy.” Yes, that’s right. There was lots of “Do what I say, but not as I do,” at this week’s freakout fiesta. “The carbon footprint of the Cancun conference is five times larger than it was for the 2009 conference in Copenhagen, despite the fact that attendance this year was significantly lower,” writes Carey. “The figure of the carbon footprint released by the Mexican government is 25,000 tons.” The pollution caused by guests’ use of private jets, round-the-clock but oft-empty shuttle buses, and electricity use at the resort’s five-star hotel will be “offset” by planting trees in nearby poor-person communities.
3.) The GAO lied, stock prices dived — In August, the Government Accountability Office released a damning report exposing unethical recruiting practices by some of the country’s top for-profit colleges, many of which make the bulk of their profit from government-backed student loans. The Department of Education seized on the findings as evidence that new regulations for the for-profit industry were needed. The feeding frenzy had begun: Liberal bloggers, then mainstream papers like the New York Times, wielded the GAO report like a bludgeon, causing for-profit stocks to plummet. This week, the Washington Post uncovered its own unethical practice: The GAO had lied. And it had lied to such an extent, in fact, that it quietly released a heavily revised version of its report in late November. For some reason, “Oops” just doesn’t seem adequate, does it?
4.) TSA gropes the wrong diplomat — “The foreign minister said Thursday that it was unacceptable that the Indian ambassador to the United States was patted down by a security agent at a Mississippi airport, and that he would complain to Washington,” the Associated Press reports. “The ambassador, Meera Shankar, was returning from giving a speech at Mississippi State University last week when she was pulled out of line at the airport and given a pat-down by a female Transportation Security Administration agent. Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna said this was the second time the ambassador had been chosen for a pat-down in the past three months.” If only Ambassador Krishna were an American politician, she could forego the screening process altogether!
5.) Winner of Nobel Prize actually earned it this year— “Imprisoned in China and with close family members forbidden to leave the country, the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is to be represented at the prize ceremony here on Friday by an empty chair,” reports the New York Times. Not since 1935, when Adolf Hitler imprisoned Count Carl von Ossietzky in a concentration camp, has a Nobel prize winner been prohibited from attending by his government. In response to the news, Pres. Obama payed Xiaobo the highest compliment an egomaniac can pay another human being: “Mr Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.” Meanwhile, the Russian government has suggested that Australian activist Julian Assange should have won the award for nearly giving Hillary Clinton an aneurysm.
6.) Earmarks are only half the problem — While the House may have taken up an earmark ban, there’s nothing to stop representatives from ordering their pork over the phone. “They still will be able to call or write to federal agencies to ask that funds are spent on projects they recommend, and there’s currently no official record of how often representatives and senators do this,” reports TheDC’s Matthew Boyle. “Though the process, dubbed ‘phone-marking,’ doesn’t forcibly require those federal agencies to grant a congressional members’ request, they frequently do because of the clout representatives and senators carry in Washington. Brian Riedl, a fellow for The Heritage Foundation, said the only difference between phone-marks and earmarks is that there is no ‘paper trail’ of members’ requests. Riedl said federal agencies grant the requests more often than not for fear of their budgets being cut by spurned legislators.” Will Republicans take up a phone-mark ban as well? Probably not!